Dilation of Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Adverse Events and Short-term Outcomes

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Although several studies report on the experience with adult eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)–related stricture, outcomes for pediatric patients with EoE–associated fibrostenosis and stricture is more limited. To address this, we aim to identify the adverse event (AE) rate and short-term outcomes of the largest reported cohort of children with EoE to undergo esophageal dilation for management of symptomatic esophageal narrowing.


A retrospective assessment of all children, 18 years and younger, who underwent esophageal dilation at an academic children's hospital during a 5-year period was conducted. Clinical, endoscopic, histologic, and outcomes of dilation were extracted from the medical record. AEs were captured within a standardized endoscopic AE database. Grade 2 AEs (requiring unanticipated medical intervention) were termed significant. Dilation-related events were compared between patients with EoE, without EoE, and those undergoing standard upper endoscopy.


Of the 451 total dilations, 68 dilations were performed in 40 EoE patients (mean age 13.8 years, standard deviation 3.3 years [4.6–18.9 years]). Forty-three percent (17/40) had repeat dilation during the study period. Dilation-related grade 2 AE rates in EoE and in non-EoE patients were 2.9% and 3.1%, respectively (P > 0.5). Chest pain (any grade AE) was reported in 14.7% of EoE dilations. No significant associations were found between postprocedural pain and dilation method, final dilator size, medical therapy, or esophageal eosinophilia. No perforations or significant hemorrhage were reported.


We conclude that dilation can be performed safely in children with EoE. In the appropriate clinical setting, cautious dilation may be considered in the management of fibrostenotic EoE.

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